July 18, 2015
We are so excited to announce that we have safely arrived on the mission field and we can now tell you that we are in Central America! Israel seems to be adjusting to the new climate, culture, food (via mom’s milk), and language faster than Jill and I are. In fact, he has been the talk of the town. Everywhere we go, people here about and want to see and hold the, “big blue-eyed, white baby” LOL. Israel is definitely growing and developing fast. It has also been wonderful to make contact and talk briefly with family back in the US to share updates.
Above all, thank you to God and all our prayer and financial partners. We cannot express enough gratitude for the ways God has been working through so many of you to make this transition for our family as smooth as possible. God has used you all to bless us and to make our vision a reality for those who have yet to put their faith in Jesus Christ, who is our only hope for salvation.
It is encouraging to already see some of the ways God is changing the hearts of the people here. Just 7 days ago, I had the joy of witnessing one elderly woman give lordship of her life to Christ. This transpired just one day after her Christian son was restored to fellowship in his local church. We were at the man’s house ministering to him with encouragement from God’s Word when the opportunity was presented to share the hope of the Gospel with his mother. It’s our prayer, and we ask you to please pray with us, that many more would repent of their ways and turn to God’s way for their life.
“Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” -Psalm 106:1
Derick & Jill
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July 5, 2015
Last week, Jill and I announced our intent to move later this month for international mission work. Since that time we have been very busy finishing up some last minute things here and enjoying the good ‘ol US of A. Our top priority as a family before we depart the country is to spend time daily in the Word of God and to be praying for both our preparation and for our time on the field. We ask each of our prayer and financial partners to please be in prayer with us for the hearts of the people who we will be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with, for wisdom and discernment in our work, and for the safety of my family. We’ve been traveling quite a bit lately, so we’ve already been packing and repacking a lot. Just this past weekend, we covered some ground when we had a speaking engagement in Nashville, TN on Saturday and attended my cousin’s wedding in Oklahoma City the next day. Before the wedding, Israel was even able to meet his great grandparents on the Dillard side for the first time and spend some quality time with them. We’ve purposed to spend as much time with friends and family as we can in the final days and weeks before departing for the field. In addition to traveling and spending time with family, we’ve been tirelessly working our way through a growing checklist of tasks that include but is not limited to: packing, coordinating logistics, making copies of passports and other important documents, transitioning insurance plans, preparing for language school, buying clothes for Israel, doctors appointments, sending out family prayer cards, and our orientation with our mission organization 2 weeks ago. For security purposes, at this time, we’re not publicly discussing specific times and places of international service. However, we are glad we were able to celebrate the independence of this great nation 239 years ago once more before we depart! As we soon serve God elsewhere we will continue to pray every day for America.
We hope you’re 4th of July was wonderful!
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July 1, 2015
June 26, 2015
Since we first began our relationship, it has always been our goal that Jesus Christ might be glorified as we serve others through family ministry, by whatever means that might be. We have a deep love and care for all of the world and a real passion for those in the nations, as many have even seen in the early stages of our relationship, and our hope is that all peoples of the world would come to repentance and put their hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ.
God has put a desire in our hearts to serve Him internationally for longer than the typical short-term mission trip, but we didn’t know yet how God would fulfill that desire in us. We were prepared for the possibility of it being years before our family would be able to make a move of that magnitude. It’s something we’ve prayed about together in an effort to seek God’s plan for our lives in His service. Earlier this year God brought about an opportunity much earlier than either of us was expecting. Several months ago a new opportunity arose for us to serve God on the mission field. Before us we had a choice to make that would undoubtedly change the trajectory of our lives forever.
As I’m sure many of you fathers can understand, I (Derick) had a huge dilemma as the provider and protector of my little family. There were definitely more “unknowns” with the international option. God was definitely testing my faith in Him by bringing about this choice in our lives. A friend of ours wisely shared that if God was leading us to serve Him abroad, we should pursue it as early as possible, to avoid a more difficult move later, when our roots are deep and we’re more comfortable in life. Ultimately, in life there is nothing more important than simply loving, following and obeying our Creator.
After much prayer and seeking Godly counsel, we realized that taking this opportunity and moving overseas in order to serve is the best option for our family. Earlier this year we shared our plans with our families and in May, I shared this decision with my manager at Wal-Mart, where I was working in the Tax department. I recently left the company and we are currently preparing to leave the US and begin our new endeavor in July. We don’t expect this new adventure to always be easy, but God never promised that following Him wouldn’t have its challenges. We are confident in knowing that there is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will for our lives. We look forward to this adventure and the joy of serving Him in this new way. We wanted to share this with you and ask for your prayers as our family makes this transition.
If you feel led to support our mission effort we would be so thankful to have you as a partner. You can give here on our website. Your prayers and your support mean so much to both of us as we begin this great new chapter in life!
To keep up with our ministry and learn how you can help check back regularly here on our website www.dillardfamily.com and sign up for the family newsletter.